Web analytics, properly collected and then analysed, provide actionable insights that can make your website more useful to your readers / users / customers.
When you know how your customers find your website, navigate around it, and (hopefully!) buy your widget or complete a lead-gen form, you’re in a position to make regular updates to your website so that it’s easier for people to use.
In fact, if you aren’t using web analytics you’re flying blind; you have very little information on how your website works out in the wild.
Analytics data, after a little processing, reveals specific enhancements that can increase the business value of your website. Not only this, but analytics data also indicates where you should allocate your marketing resources to achieve the best results for your business.
Here’s some reasons why you need to be collecting website data, and some basic metrics that can help you be far more precise in your marketing efforts:
Listen to Your Customers
Hopefully, your website offers useful information to prospective customers about you, your business, and, most importantly, the specific benefits that your product/services offers to them.
Do you know if this content is actually working to get you business by helping your customers through their decision-making process?
Using analytics to assess the performance of your website’s content allows you to track how your potential customers interact with your business online. Does your content connect with users and inspire further action? Or is it so vile that users leave the page within seconds?
If customers walked into your office to ask you questions, you’d soon know their common concerns and which answers encouraged these customers to find out more about your service and, eventually, buy from you.
You’ve probably written many pages and blog posts to introduce and explain your business. Which are your readers’ favourites? What do they read next? Is there a common pattern of how users navigate around your website?
These insights can help you understand what your customers are looking for on your site. Then you can provide more relevant information that assists their decision making.
‘I’m Businessman Not a Data-Scientist!’
If you’ve spent cash on a fancy website, and then spent even more cash on creating content for it, then presumably you have specific business goals to justify that investment. And, in time, you’ll want to calculate your return-on-investment.
To adequately measure and subsequently improve ROI, analytics reporting isn’t optional, it’s mandatory. Analytics generates the data that can be interpreted to provide the insights that can optimise your website.
What’s the point of your website? Are you hoping to build an audience? Sell a product? Promote your business? Generate leads? If you don’t implement a method to monitor the performance of your website, then how can you possibly judge if your investment is paying off? Each of these goals has associated metrics that can be tracked with an analytics solution.
Without analytics reporting and analysis, you won’t know how your website contributes to the real-world objectives you’ve set for your business.
Know Where to Focus Your Efforts
Your website and social media channels can be a sinkhole for your precious time and effort.
I’m sure that you have dozens of content ideas, page tweaks, and facebook posts that you’d like to get done. But should you bother?
Analytics data can tell you which of your campaigns are the best performing. What if you spend loads of time crafting a beautiful Facebook page but your analytics data tells you that most of your converting customers come from LinkedIn? Surely you should spend less time on Facebook and more time in LinkedIn.
These kinds of performance insights could radically alter how you use your time and resources, and achieve a better ROI on your marketing spend.
You really need to be collecting the data that can help you make informed decisions on what online marketing works best for your business. Otherwise, you simply won’t know what marketing channel is working best or wasting your time.
Avoid Data-Driven Inaction
Tracking your numbers can become an obsession. It’s endlessly fascinating to track pageviews, bounce rates, and referral sources for your website.
But ‘knowing’ doesn’t improve performance. You must use this knowledge to take action.
Are your pages actually useful? Do you give readers a clear path to take further action? Can they easily subscribe to your RSS feed or email newsletter if they want? What are you going to do to address these issues?
You can make your website far more effective at prompting user action – and contributing to your business growth – if you know how they find, access, and navigate your website. But you also need to know how this information can be used to make specific improvements to your website’s design and content.
Once you’re clear on what action you’d like your website visitors to take, and you have the data that shows what actions they’re actually taking, you can then make decisions on how to make your website more useful to users.
Analytics done right helps your website become a better marketing asset for you business.
What Should You Do Now?
Analytics doesn’t have to be an expensive and complicated part of your digital marketing toolbox.
If you use even the basic, free Google Analytics tool you’ll be able to gain invaluable insights into your customers, your website, and your outreach efforts.
If you want to listen to your customers and make interacting with your business a more pleasant experience, then implement analytics on your website and start learning about how people interact with your business online.
Check out my company website here if you need any help with this: willingwords.com
Some Great Analytics Blogs: